A really long time ago I bought an aluminum rectangle plate that was about 6 inches wide and 8 inches long, the instructions claimed that by putting this plate at the bottom of your sink and adding hot water and baking soda it will clean all your silver.
Over the years people claimed that putting aluminum foil on the bottom of a container or sink and adding various household products like baking soda, salt, or vinegar would do the same thing.
Well it never really worked for me back then and things haven’t changed much now. Unless it’s just a slight discoloration on your silverware, the results I found were less than satisfactory.
I tested some old cutlery that had various degrees of discoloration, below are my test results.
Test # 1. Aluminum foil, 3-4 cups hot boiling water, 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda. Let silverware soak 5-10 minutes.
Below you can see the difference on a slightly tarnished piece of silver. The other spoons that are in bad shape yielded poor results.
Test #2. Aluminum foil, 3-4 cups hot boiling water, 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda. 1 tablespoon salt, ½ cup vinegar. Let silverware sit 5-10 minutes. I didn’t notice any difference by adding the extra ingredients.
There are some factors to consider when doing this, the wear and tear already on the object, and the quality of the silver. If you’re only looking to clean a little oxidization then you won’t be disappointed by any of these methods.
All tests yielded the same results. I had to resort to commercial silver cleaner to achieve the shiny results I was looking for. Below is the result after commercial silverware cleaner.